Theatre company starts “plague” company to read Shakespeare sonnets

MEDFORD, Ore.– Actors and theatre workers in the Rogue Valley are sharing readings of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

It’s being called the Rogue Valley Plague Theatre Company and it was helped formed by the Collaborative Theatre Project in Medford.

Since the end of March when the theatre had to shut down, members have been posting their readings of the sonnets every weekday. Each day focuses on one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets and people can act them out in a variety of ways.

“Some sonnets that are absolutely exquisitely profound and beautiful and some that are just silly,” said Susan Aversa-Orrego, the director of the Collaborative Theatre. “We have a gentleman that on Monday nights puts his sonnets to music. So there’s music involved in some of them.”

The creators behind the project say it’s a great way to stay creative and help take people’s minds off of the pandemic. It’s not just for people in the Rogue Valley, however. Aversa-Orrego says there are people in the group from all over the world who have joined to listen to the readings.

When asked if they’ll make it through all 154, Aversa-Orrego says she hopes it’s not because they’ve been under stay-at-home orders that long. She says they’re still discussing what will happen but when the orders do lift, they expect to find some way to finish the sonnets that are left.

The readings take place on Facebook Monday through Friday at 8 p.m. It’s a private group that you will have to ask to join. You can find the project here.

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